Church History


Rev. Robert B. Dokes, Founding Pastor

Our humble ministry was organized in 1940and incorporated as the Second Baptist Church of Paterson, New Jersey, on January 27, 1941. The founding Board of Trustees were Rev. Robert B. Dokes, William C. Jackson, Abner W. Nash, John L. Best, Henry Hinton, Clifford L. Jackson, John P. Wright and Carolyn Middleton.

The Reverend Robert Boston Dokes was our founding Pastor. Under his leadership, many auxiliaries were developed to compliment the growth and stability of the church. The board of Deacons and Trustees, Missionaries, Senior Choir, Gospel Choir, Youth Choir, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and Usher Board as well as others, were all implemented by Rev. Dokes and his founding members. He even played a large role in purchasing our current home of worship, 72 Carroll St. in May 1963. In 1984, he retired as pastor, but his forty-four years of service set a high bar for whoever would come next. For the next eighteen months, under the leadership of Deacon Thomas Veal Jr., chairman of the Board of Deacons, and Trustee George Arnett, Sr. chairman of the Board of Trustees, the church searched for a pastor.

On November 1, 1985, the Reverend Alexander McDonald III was called from Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Boonton, NJ (where he was an associate minister), to serve as the second pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Paterson, NJ. Under Pastor McDonald's leadership, the church continues to build on the firm foundation laid by our founding fathers and mothers. In 1990, the property at 72 Carroll Street was renovated and expanded to accommodate our growth. Four additional properties surrounding the church have also been purchased.

Over the past 20 years, with grants from parties like Hoffman LaRoche, and in loving memory of Rev. Dokes, we have implemented numerous neighborhood functions; a community library, the Second Baptist Community Development Corporation, the Rising Dove Summer Day Camp, the Rising Above Substance Abuse HIV/AIDS Support and Referral group, weekly AA meetings, nursing home, senior citizen, youth detention, prison, feeding, and clothing outreach ministries, the Computer Learning Center, and the After-School Tutorial Center. So far, nine ministers have been licensed here.

Second Baptist Church is the proud owner of the Rising Dove Senior Apartments Inc, the Thomas E. Veal Multipurpose Center, and the George Arnett, Sr. Enterprise Building; all of which are currently being used by members of the community. We are also in the process of renovating and expanding our existing facilities to further accommodate the continued growth and success God has given us.